Posts Tagged ‘1958 British Grand Prix’

(Getty Images)

Evocative shot of Peter Collins in his Ferrari Dino 246, 1958 #246/002, during the July 1958 British Grand Prix at Silverstone.

He won the race by 24-seconds from Mike Hawthorn who took the World Drivers Championship that year, before perishing in ‘that’ road-dice with Rob Walker shortly thereafter.

I’ve done these cars to death, both front-engined F1 jobbies and their related mid-engined Tasman cousins, but another bunch of photos got the juices flowing again.

In an enthralling, tragic season, Luigi Musso died at Reims, then Peter Collins crashed fatally at the Nurburgring only weeks after Silverstone (in this same chassis) during the German Grand Prix. Vanwall, with whom Ferrari battled all year – winners of the Constructors Championship – also lost a driver at the season’s end when Stuart Lewis-Evans died of burns sustained at Ain-Diab in Morocco several days after the race.

(MotorSport)

This Moroccan GP start-shot of Vanwall mounted Stirling Moss bolting away from a Ferrari, this time with Phil Hill at the wheel, says a lot about the rivalry between the teams during a year in which British F1 pre-eminence began. Vanwall and Cooper, to whom Tony Vandervell would pass the torch, were on the rise.

The shot below shows Hawthorn’s car (1958 #246/003) being attended to in the Silverstone paddock. Note the traditional twin-main tube Ferrari chassis, and subsidiary tubes, and powerful V6 engine canted to the right to allow the driveshaft to pass alongside the driver.

By contrast, the Vanwall had a Colin Chapman designed, light, multi-tubular spaceframe chassis, and far less sexy, but powerful, torquey, twin-cam, two-valve – same as the Ferrari – in-line four cylinder engine.

(MotorSport)
(MotorSport)

At the start of its life the Dino rear end (Collins’ car at Silverstone above) comprised a De Dion axle, transverse leaf-spring, twin radius rods, Houdaille shocks and drum brakes. By 1960 it was independent with coil springs, telescopic shocks and disc brakes, such was the relentless pace of change and level of competition wrought by the mid-engined Cooper T51 and Cooper T53 Climaxes in 1959-1960.

In late August, Hawthorn and Moss battle on the Boavista seafront in Portugal. Stirling won on the cobblestones by five seconds from Mike, settling up a nail-biting end to the season at Monza and Ain-Diab.

Brooks’ Vanwall won from Hawthorn at Monza, while Moss had a gearbox failure. In Morocco, Hawthorn put his car on pole from Moss, in the race the positions were reversed. Mike took the title by a point from Stirling in a season in which the best five placings were counted.

The stunning shot of Phil Hill below, hooking his Dino (1958 #246/004) into a right-hander in the wilds of Morocco shows all that was great – and incredibly dangerous – of Grands Prix racing compared with the (sometimes) between the white lines ‘car park’ F1 competition of today. Grand Prix Racing it ain’t…

(MotorSport)

Credits…

MotorSport and Getty Images

Finito…

58 british

(Allan Fearnley)

Mike Hawthorn and Peter Collins looking confident with the speed of their Ferrari Dinos prior to the Silverstone start…

Into 1958 the relationship between Enzo Ferrari and Peter Collins had soured a bit as the chief felt the Brit was not as competitive as he had been, he was dropped to the F2 team at the French GP. Mike Hawthorn’s intervention and Luigi Musso’s death at Reims made his position more secure. Nevertheless he was feeling plenty of pressure at the time…

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Peter Collins takes his last win, Silverstone 1958, Ferrari Dino 246 (unattributed)

Collins started the British GP from 6th on the grid, with Moss’ Vanwall on pole, but Collins blasted through from the second row to lead Moss, Hawthorn, Schell’s BRM P25, Brooks Vanwall VW57 and Salvadori, Cooper T45 Climax.

Collins increased the lead steadily with Moss and Hawthorn comprising the lead group. Stirling’s engine blew on lap 26 leaving Peter leading from Hawthorn. Stuart Lewis-Evans was 3rd but was soon passed by Salvadori. Collins won from Hawthorn, Salvadori and Lewis-Evans’ Vanwall VW57, four Brits!

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Peter Collins being congratulated aboard his Dino after the event. Its July 19, he was dead 3 weeks later, Nurburgring on 3 August (Hutton)

Credit…

Allan Fearnley, Hutton Deutsch